CHENNAI:Amidst call to postpone the by-election in RK Nagar Assembly constituency, leaders of various political parties on Wednesday thronged the office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajesh Lakhoni with several demands-taking immediate action to stop distribution of money being the key one.
The BJP targeted both factions of AIADMK and DMK. The CPM demanded disqualification of AIADMK (Amma) candidate TTV Dhinakaran. The DMK complained against both AIADMK factions and sought transfer of two key police officers.
The first to approach the CEO was BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan accompanied by party candidate Gangai Amaren. “Despite historical measures by the Election Commission, money distribution goes unabated in RK Nagar. The two factions of AIADMK and DMK are engaged in the act. If election can’t be conducted in a fair manner, let it be postponed,” she stated.
V Maitreyan and KP Munusamy of AIADMK-Puratchi Thalaivi Amma said the EC in its ‘contest’ with AIADMK (Amma) stands defeated in preventing cash distribution
CPM State secretary G Ramakrishnan claimed money was distributed by AIADMK (Amma) in the constituency in the wee hours of Wednesday. “Looks like the distribution is taking place with the cooperation of police. Postponing the by-election or countermanding it may not be a right solution now. The candidate responsible for the act should be disqualified and election should be conducted thereafter.”
Preferring complaints against both AIADMK factions, DMK MP RS Bharathi accused the EC of having failed to prevent money distribution. Naming two police officials, he said they were supporting the illegal activities of the ruling party. “If EC does not take strict action immediately, the entire process would become a mockery of democracy,” he said.
PMK founder S Ramadoss too has backed BJP’s demand to postpone the bypoll. In a statement, he said, “There are 100-fold reasons to defer this by-election. The two factions of AIADMK and DMK have been distributing money to garner votes. Violence was reported in a few places where cash distribution was on. The EC should postpone the by-election until the impact of ongoing money distribution is gone.”
Meanwhile, EC sources, pointing out the postponement of elections in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi constituencies by a few months last year, said the Commission can postpone the by-election to RK Nagar just by a month since the entire election process has to be completed by June 4. However, the EC is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and unprecedented measures are being introduced every day to prevent money distribution, they said.
Stalin warns ‘biased’ poll officers
DMK working president M K Stalin warned the ‘biased’ poll officials of action once his party came to power. “Some, especially police, are acting as ‘FERA’ faction’s agents,” he said, visiting partymen allegedly attacked by AIADMK Amma supporters.
Bar Dhinakaran from contesting: EVKS
Accusing AIADMK-Amma candidate TTV Dhinakaran of bribing voters, ex-TNCC president EVKS Elangovan urged the EC to bar him from contesting the bypoll. “Enough is not done to identify the origin of money flow,” he said, while campaigning for DMK candidate.
WhatsApp helpline to air RK Nagar complaints
Chennai: The Greater Chennai police have launched a WhatsApp helpline number to facilitate the general public and party members to lodge poll-related complaints. The RK Nagar Assembly constituency in the city is scheduled to go for bypoll on April 12. Complaints of any irregularities and violations can be sent to 9940599465, the helpline number which is manned at the Election Cell in the office of the Commissioner of Police at Vepery. Appropriate action will be taken on the complaints, a release issued by the Greater Chennai Police said.